The Kearney brothers, Dave and Rob, had already been ruled out of the game with injuries. Joey Carbery starts at full back, Fergus McFadden starts on the wing in what will be his 150th game for Leinster and Isa Nacewa will lead the side from the other wing on his 50th appearance in the tournament.
The back row will now feature Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan, with new British & Irish Lions Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong forming an all-international front row with Richardt Strauss. Fit again Sean Cronin returns to the bench, while loose head prop Peter Dooley will make his European debut if he comes on the field.
Clermont have paired England internationals Dave Strettle and Nick Abendanon on the wings in the absence of Noa Nakaitaci and club stalwart Aurelien Rougerie will partner Remi Lamerat at centre. On the bench, Damien Penaud, a try scorer in the quarter-final win over RC Toulon, will be hoping to stay on course to match the achievement of his father, Alain, in winning the title with Brive back in 1997.
ASM Clermont Auvergne: Scott Spedding; David Strettle, Aurélien Rougerie, Remi Lamerat, Nick Abendanon; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Raphael Chaume, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Arthur Iturria, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Damien Chouly (captain), Peceli Yato, Fritz Lee
Reps: John Ulugia, Etienne Falgoux, Aaron Jarvis, Paul Jedrasiak, Alexandre Lapandry, Ludovic Radosavljevic, Pato Fernandez, Damien Penaud
Leinster Rugby: Joey Carbery; Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (captain); Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs, Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan
Reps: Seán Cronin, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Zane Kirchner
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
ASM Clermont Auvergne v Leinster Rugby Match Facts
- This will be Leinster's ninth appearance in the semi-finals. Only Munster (12, including this season) and Toulouse (10) have reached the last four more often.
- This season's No 1 seeds from the pool stage, ASM Clermont Auvergne, are through to the semi-finals for the fifth time with their previous four games all coming since the beginning of 2011/12 (W2, L2).
- Sunday will be Leinster's 150th European Cup match as they become the third club after Toulouse and Munster to reach the milestone. The three-time champions have won 97, drawn five and lost 47 of their previous 149 games.
- This is the ninth meeting between the sides in Europe, and no club has faced Clermont more often than Leinster in the competition. Only Leicester Tigers (11) have played against the Irish province more often than the TOP 14 outfit.
- Clermont have won their last two matches against Leinster, this after losing five of the first six meetings. However, Leinster have won both knockout clashes between the two - 2010 quarter-final at the RDS and 2012 semi-final in Bordeaux.
- Leinster are unbeaten in their last five Champions Cup games (W4, D1); the last time they went on a longer such run was their record breaking 17 game unbeaten streak from 2010 to 2012 (W16, D1), during which they lifted the trophy twice.
- Leinster (37) and Clermont (34.3) have averaged more points per game in the competition this season than any other side.
- Leinster are the only side with a 100% scrum success rate on their own ball.
- Leinster captain, Isa Nacewa, has scored seven tries to date this season, at least two more than any other player, while Clermont's Camille Lopez has made the most try assists with seven.
- Sébastien Vahaamahina (80/88) has made more tackles than any other player in the competition this season, while teammate Rémi Lamerat has made the most of any back (64/75).